“How do you not like the Internet? That’s like saying, ‘I don’t like things that are convenient. And easy. I don’t like having access to all of mankind’s recorded discoveries at my fingertips. I don’t like light. And knowledge.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
So today I felt like I deserved a treat.
After being disappointed with yesterday’s novel, I decided to pick up a book that I have wanted to read ever since it was published.
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell.
Fangirl tells the story of college freshman Cath and her twin sister Wren, and is told from Cath’s point of view. While Wren begins adapting to college life, Cath finds herself isolated, and lonely. Stuck without her sister by her side, she turns to the world of Simon Snow to help her feel better. She is a well known fanfiction author in the community, who’s current work in progress has over a thousand hits per day.
“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Cath said as sternly as she could. “I likethat we’re not friends.”
However, when she becomes interested in her roommates best friend, she finds herself torn between harsh reality and the well known and loved world of Simon (which is a series loosely based on Harry Potter.)
So, like any other real life fangirl, this story touched my heart. I recognized so many aspects of being in a fandom, and just generally identified with that part of Cath so much. I think this novel has really opened the eyes of those who may not understand why so many people are hardcore fans of certain things.
Cath is a typically awkward character. She’s antisocial, blunt, and naive. But, when you read from her perspective you can’t help but love her anyway. She’s the little sister that you regard with fond exasperation, until you actually want to murder her because she’s being so difficult.
“It’s just… everything. There are too many people. And I don’t fit in. I don’t know how to be. Nothing that I’m good at is the sort of thing that matters there. Being smart doesn’t matter—and being good with words. And when those things do matter, it’s only because people want something from me. Not because they want me.” ― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
She is also very aware of who she is as a person, and has accepted it. She knows her strengths and weaknesses, and does not try to pretend that she is anyone else. At least, she tries less than your average eighteen year old.
“You’ve read the books?”
“I’ve seen the movies.”
Cath rolled her eyes so hard, it hurt. (Actually.) (Maybe because she was still on the edge of tears. On the edge, period.) “So you haven’t read the books.”
“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me”
― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
There were definitely parts where she began to annoy me, because of her naivety mostly, but they weren’t out of character for her. I feel like there was definitely an arc to her story, and that was wonderful to be able to see.
The plot was simple, but there were definitely dark twists and subtlety that I hadn’t expected to read about. It was really well done, and fit in nicely with the overall story.
I am also so very glad that Carry On ACTUALLY became a novel by Rainbow Rowell. I feel like if she hadn’t finished it, I may have screamed.